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It’s always a blessing when a young child shows interest in playing the guitar. However, it does pose a bit of a challenge when trying to find them a playable guitar.
The majority of playable guitars are most appropriate for adults, with the quality of children’s guitars often a little underwhelming. Fortunately, you do not have to settle for something below a reasonable standard.
The following guitars are worthwhile choices for the 6 year old in your life who desires to play the instrument.
Cordoba Protege C1M 1/4 Size – Best Overall
As its name suggests, this guitar has dimensions scaled down to be 1/4 the size of a standard guitar. The entire length from the top of the headstock to the bottom of the body measures just shy of 32”.
This guitar is modeled after the classical guitar design, featuring a Mahogany body with a Spruce top. Despite being small, Cordoba has used traditional fan bracing architecture in the body of this guitar.
Mahogany is also used for the neck, which features a C-shape contour with a scale length of 18.9”. The fretboard is crafted from Rosewood, and features 19 frets and a nut width of 1.75”.
Other hardware to be found on the Protege C1M 1/4 Size include:
- Rosewood bridge
- Composite saddle
- Composite nut
- Gold tuners
The body of the Protege C1M 1/4 Size has a thickness of 3.15”, with the top’s width measuring 11.75”. Any child with a smaller stature will find this guitar quite accommodating.
One thing to note about the Protege C1M 1/4 Size is that it is equipped with Nylon strings. This is a standard feature of classical guitars.
What’s So Great About The Cordoba Protege C1M 1/4 Size?
In a way, the Protege C1M 1/4 Size is a bit of a marvel of modern manufacturing. Cordoba has found a way to produce an authentic guitar at 1/4 of the size of a standard guitar.
That alone should make your head turn, but what’s even better is that it provides an opportunity for younger children. More often than not, children end up with guitars that are more of a toy than an actual instrument.
This guitar might seem like a toy, but in all actuality, is built for a child to learn the guitar. Do keep in mind, though, that its smaller size will cause the guitar to sound a bit thin and trebly.
However, if the 6 year old in your life has small hands, this guitar is a no-brainer. It has a seriously small scale length that even the smallest hands should have no problem with.
Just for comparison, standard guitars usually have a scale length of 25”. This guitar’s scale length is nearly 6” smaller.
Steel strings can be a bit of a burden for smaller hands that might not have a lot of strength. The Protege C1M 1/4 Size’s Nylon strings provide a unique alternative to this.
Nylon is generally more pliable, allowing the strings to be fretted much easier as not as much pressure is required. It is debatable, but nylon strings might also last a little longer than steel strings.
If the 6 year old in your life is of larger stature, this guitar might not be the most practical. In these instances, a 1/2 size or 3/4 size might be more appropriate.
Squier Mini Strat – Best Premium
This is a 3/4 size guitar, so it could be slightly large for 6 year olds of smaller stature. Regardless of its size, almost every signature aspect of the Stratocaster can be found here.
For starters, the Mini Strat features a laminated Poplar body, and comes in the iconic colors of:
- Dakota red
- Shell pink
The neck is crafted using Maple, featuring a C-shape contour with a 22.75” scale length. Indian Laurel is used for the fretboard, which has a 9.5” radius and 20 frets outlined by Pearloid dot inlays.
Other hardware featured on the Mini Strat include:
- Synthetic bone nut
- 6-saddle fixed bridge with string-through-body design
- Die-cast tuners
For pickups, this guitar is stocked with a trio of Standard Strat single-coils designed by Squier. These will produce many of those classic round and quacky Strat tones you know and love.
The guitar also comes equipped with a 5-way pickup selector switch as well as knobs for tone and volume levels.
What’s So Great About The Squier Mini Strat?
The Stratocaster is one of the most iconic guitars ever made. Chances are likely that your 6 year old has a guitar icon who plays the Stratocaster.
When a child is inspired, it is usually best to capitalize on that inspiration. A guitar similar to that of their heroes can make the guitar become a lifelong passion.
While this guitar is smaller in size, it provides nearly all of the things you’d find with a standard Stratocaster. The only thing really missing here is the tremolo bridge system.
However, this exclusion isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The fixed bridge ensures fewer problems related to tuning.
Another excellent noteworthy point with the Mini Strat is the number of different color options. This allows the 6 year old to add a bit of personalization to the guitar.
In turn, this sort of personalization can facilitate the child to become more attached to the guitar. This sort of attachment is what usually turns an interest into a passion.
Even if the Mini Strat is a little large, it makes for a great youth beginner guitar in general. Your child will likely be able to use this guitar until they become a teenager.
Of course, it’s hard to gauge how fast a child might grow, as each grows at their own individual rate. So, the guitar’s mileage may vary, but generally will be of longer use than something of even smaller size.
This is an excellent beginner guitar because it provides the necessities for an authentic electric guitar playing experience. The things your 6 year old will learn on this guitar can be used for the rest of their life.
Cordoba Mini II – Best Budget
This is technically a travel guitar, but its smaller size makes it appropriate for younger beginners. Its overall length measures just above 34”.
The Mini II features a laminated Mahogany body with a depth of 3.3”. Its Mahogany top has a width of 11.25” at its widest point.
As such, any 6 year old will likely find this to be pretty accommodating, especially those of smaller stature.
Mahogany is also used to craft the neck, which has a shortened scale length of 22.875”. A hardwood composite is used for the fretboard, which has a flat radius with 19 frets outlined by dot inlays.
Other hardware to be found on the Mini II include:
- Composite bridge
- NuBone nut
- NuBone saddle
- Satin Nickel tuners
One thing to note about the Mini II is that it is equipped with Nylon strings, rather than steel strings. The guitar will not be suitable to accommodate steel strings.
What’s So Great About The Cordoba Mini II?
This guitar is perfectly suitable for somebody wanting to buy a worthwhile guitar on a serious budget. Any young child should find this to be a suitable instrument for learning the fundamentals.
Its size falls just slightly above the dimensions of a 1/4 size guitar. However, despite its size, the Mini II has all of the necessities required to become a competent player.
In general, this guitar has received quite a bit of praise from adults who use the guitar. It just goes to show that these smaller sizes aren’t only for younger children.
By far one of the best aspects of the Mini II has to be its low price. This fits well within the range of an ideal beginner’s budget for a first guitar.
Plus, the Mini II could be used later on in life in travel situations. It is suited to be stowed away safely for any mode of transportation.
What To Look For When Buying A Guitar For A 6 Year Old
It can be fairly difficult to decide what guitar to get the 6 year old in your life. This is doubly so if you’ve never played guitar yourself, as you might not be sure what to look for.
When you’re armed with the proper knowledge, the entire process becomes much easier. Plus, you can modify and adapt the knowledge to be used on guitar purchases made for any age or skill.
If you’re an observant individual, you’ve likely noticed that there are both acoustic guitars and electric guitars. Many people (without guitar experience) believe that one must learn the acoustic before playing the electric guitar.
While this certainly is the path for many, it isn’t necessarily a hard-set rule. In fact, there are reasons why your child might not wish to follow this path.
The most important thing at this age is to keep the child inspired and motivated to learn. Usually, the type of guitar they are most interested in will be one of the easiest ways to do this.
Acoustics provide convenience, often needing only the guitar itself to play. Electric guitars can be played acoustically, but are designed to be used with an amplifier.
Similarly, the music that each is typically used to create differs quite a bit. This, along with a notable guitarist’s signature guitar style, sometimes play a role in a decision between guitars.
6 year old guitarists are going to be better accommodated with smaller-sized guitars. Manufacturers produce guitars in the following sizes:
- 1/4 size
- 1/2 size
- 3/4 size
- 7/8 size
Similarly, pay special attention to the scale length measurement of the guitar. This determines the distance between frets, with measurements below 24” likely being the most appropriate for a 6 year old.
Fractionally-sized guitars tend to offer both a shorter scale length, as well as smaller-bodied guitar designs. They still provide an authentic playing experience despite these differences.
The playability of guitars for children is often quite a bit disappointing. However, this is something that might need to be expected in the lower budget ranges.
The shape of the neck contour and the pressure needed to push the strings down are of most importance. Nylon strings can provide an easier time fretting the strings, especially for a 6 year old.
When buying for a 6 year old, it’s best to look for guitars in the lower budget range. Many of these guitars are built for complete beginners, with many tailored to accommodate a child’s smaller stature.
Just be extra aware that the guitar you are buying isn’t actually just a toy marketed as a playable guitar. You will find this quite a bit in the child’s guitar market, and an inexperienced individual could easily be fooled.
If you really need to save some money, don’t be afraid to check around the used market. You’ll often find guitars at a price much lower than they cost in new condition.
Best Brands For Guitars For 6 Year Olds
Every niche industry has its most reputable brands. You’ll find that the following brands are highly regarded in producing guitars suitable for 6 year olds.
It can help to refer to these brands’ products as a benchmark standard for a worthwhile instrument.
Cordoba is one of the leading producers of Spanish classical guitars. The company also produces guitars specifically for young children who wish to become a student of the instrument.
Squier is a sister company to Fender, producing Fender designs at a much more affordable price suitable for any beginner. Many working professionals have chosen to play Squier guitars on stage.
Top Guitars For 6 Year Olds, Final Thoughts
To find a guitar for the 6 year old in your life, let them try out different guitars for themselves. This allows them to form their own opinions based on how different guitars feel and sound.
Plus, chances are likely that a certain guitar will catch their eye, which can make things easier. Going this route, while being mindful of the buying guide information, will help find a guitar to keep inspiration alive.